I have had my two Toulouse geese, Herdie and Gerdie, for a little over a year now. They are beautiful birds which have provided us with entertainment, compost amendments, and of course, eggs! We have enjoyed the fresh eggs immensely, and this year I was able to sell some of them to cover the cost of the goose food (which really does not cost much at all). Geese do not lay all year like chickens can, instead having a breeding season in the spring like many wild birds tend to do, so the eggs are a real treat.
Last month, towards the end of the season, I decided to let Gerdie hatch some goslings. She was getting increasingly desperate when I took eggs from the nest, and it is, after all, what comes naturally to her. All went well, smooth and uneventful, and seven goslings made it! It was great to have her sit on the nest, eliminating the need for constant monitoring and attention like an incubator can require, but the most wonderful thing about this experience was that my 5 year old daughter and my 10 year old son got to watch something so amazing. They observed the eggs as they hatched, helped me tend to the babies, learned a lot, got a bit emotional, and are looking forward to doing it again next year!
Here's a few pictures of our experience!